Fall TV Season: Technical difficulties slow Turner Broadcasting's upfront presentation
The technical difficulties started soon after Conan O'Brien finished a roast of TBS, the cable channel he joined after leaving NBC last year. Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, did an admirable job entertaining the crowd during the outage.
He added that while he may be the former president of Turner, commercial prices won't go down.
The problem was fixed briefly, only to return about 20 minutes later.
In his opening bit, O'Brien didn't show his new bosses at Turner Broadcasting much love during the cable channel's presentation of new programming to advertisers.
While it is common for talent to take shots at their network bosses when performing at so-called upfront presentations, O'Brien's routine at times seemed more nasty than loving. Besides the usual jokes about cheaper budgets on cable -- he said Turner put him up in a hotel in the Bronx -- he also told attendees to gear up for clips from their favorite "Seinfeld" reruns.
Poking fun at Michael Wright, the Turner executive in charge of original programming who was once an actor, O'Brien cracked, "I saw him acting like TBS had original programming."
O'Brien joked that after this performance fans could follow him to Animal Planet.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Conan O'Brien. Credit: Art Streiber / TBS